Hey Doc…

I have type II diabetes and I am taking Avandia.  I read an article in the Desert Sun recently that this may cause heart attacks.  If this drug can cause death, how come my doctor hasn’t said anything? Can something else be done to treat my diabetes?

-J.R.  In Indian Wells


 Dear J.R.,

Simply put, the answer is yes.  If one were to approach diabetes from its causation then you allow yourself the possibility of curing it.  There are many people, including myself, that feel the main cause of Type II diabetes is an over-production of insulin, not an overproduction of sugar.  This is a hormone that leads to the creation of fat inside fat cells, and blocks the release of fat from fat cells (it is a fat-storing hormone).  This is why basically all medications used to treat diabetes cause weight gain because they increase insulin levels – except Metformin and Byetta.  The latter drug, however, can cause life-threatening pancreatitis.  Additionally, it is felt that insulin may be responsible for many of the complications of diabetes.

So to answer your question, perhaps a more reasonable approach is to utilize a fat-burning diet/exercise program in order to make room for sugar in the fat cells and thereby lowering sugar levels in the blood.  The need for medications can possibly be eliminated by adding natural hormones that can lower insulin levels and also increase metabolism.  In addition, one can incorporate natural supplements to reduce insulin resistance and help with fat loss.

“Hey Doc” is a weekly series of questions & answers pertaining to common medical issues. It was published in the Palm Springs area, as well as the Beverly Hills Courier,  not too long ago.  The answers are strictly my beliefs and are intended to inform the reader of possible alternative approaches.  Obviously, all questions regarding your health should be discussed with your own physician. ~Michael E. Platt M.D.